Monday, April 07, 2014

Confederate "Heritage" Month 2014, April 7: the Confederacy fights labor unions in 2014

An instructive example of the uses of neo-Confederate ideology for reactionary purposes is provided by Josh Eidelson in Confederate sympathizers and top GOPers unite in auto fight Salon 02/11/2014. This had to do with the unsuccessful attempt by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to organize works at Volkswagen. This was a drive which had the tacit support of Volkswagen, as the result of labor agreements in Germany. Eidelson reports:

Right-wing groups including Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform are also working to defeat the union drive; billboards from ATR’s Center for Worker Freedom warn workers that “The UAW spends millions to elect liberal politicians, including BARACK OBAMA” and (quoting Reuters) that “almost every job lost at U.S. car factories in the last 30 years has occurred at a unionized company …” The Center for Worker Freedom is directed by Matt Patterson, the co-author of a May Op-Ed that described the UAW drive as “an invading union force from the North,” and said that “the people of Tennessee routed such a force in the Battle of Chickamauga,” when the Confederate Army stymied “an invading Union army” during the Civil War. “Let their descendants go now and do likewise,” he urged. (ATR did not respond to a Friday inquiry.)

UAW’s King condemned the role of such “outside special interests” as “really outrageous,” given their stated commitment to “free enterprise.” He added, “I can’t think of a better example of the definition of hypocrisy and duplicity.” [my emphasis]
The Confederacy: against workers' interests when it actually existed, against workers' interest in the neo-Confederate ideology that lives on.

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